The big news at this year's Sea Otter Classic, besides the weather, is the new MTB cross-country course. The new course is generating a lot of buzz, and those that have ridden it give it good reviews, saying that it's now more of a power course with more technical climbing, and more opportunity for passing and fluidity among the field. "There's nothing too technical, but a couple of very, very sandy descents are sure to create havoc and excitement." Now that's what we're talking about!

Specifically, the 18-mile course runs in a clockwise direction this year, as opposed to the counterclockwise loop of the old route, gains about 2400 feet, and brings into play new pieces of the Fort Ord trail network that racers have never had a chance to shred before. The race starts with a longer run on the Laguna Seca racetrack than in years past to allow riders a chance to spread out a little before they head off onto the dirt. A downhill finish this year should also add some extra finish-line excitement to this signature event.